Blast in high security zone
[TamilNet, Thursday, 25 February 1999, 10:55 GMT]
At least three soldiers were killed when an explosion ripped through Sri Lankan Army (SLA) positions in the Thenmaradchi division of Jaffna around 1.20 a.m. in the early hours of the morning today. Unconfirmed reports said, the SLA's 54 Division commander Major.Gen. Sarath Munasingha was wounded in the blast.
Army sources in Jaffna declined to comment on the report. One of them said that he was not well.
Several soldiers were also wounded in this blast near the Thiriyai Amman Kovil at Maasaar.
The temple is in the high security zone of the Iyakkachchi-Elephant Pass base complex; and hence the SLA has barred devotees from entering its general locality.
The villages of Puthukkaadu, Soran Pattu and Maasar were rocked by shelling and artillery fire from SLA positions for almost fifteen minutes after the explosion.
Some SLA sources in the area said that the blast was triggered by the Liberation Tigers. Others denied this, claiming that it was caused by an army bomb that went off accidentally.
The Sri Lankan security forces headquarters in Palaly is yet to say anything on the explosion.
Sri Lankan Police sources in Thenmaradchi, however, said that the Tigers who have infiltrated the Soran Pattu area could have set off an explosive device.
SLA positions south of the Thenmaradchi region of Jaffna and the Iyakkachchi-Elephant Pass- Paranthan military base complex come under the 54 division.